IV Cannulation Procedure for Nurses

Welcome to our blog on IV cannulation procedure for nurses. In this article, we will provide a detailed step-by-step guide
to help nurses perform IV cannulation effectively and safely. IV cannulation, also known as intravenous cannulation,
is a common procedure in healthcare settings that involves inserting a cannula into a patient’s vein to administer
fluids, medication, or obtain blood samples. It is a crucial skill that nurses must master to provide optimal patient care.


Before starting the IV cannulation procedure, it is important to gather all the necessary equipment. This includes:

  • Cannula
  • IV catheter
  • Tourniquet
  • Gloves
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Sterile dressing
  • Transparent adhesive dressing
  • Securement device
  • Syringes
  • Extension sets
  • IV fluids or medication


1. Verify the patient’s identity and explain the procedure to them.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly and put on gloves.

3. Select an appropriate vein for cannulation. The choice of vein will depend on factors such as patient age, medical
condition, and the purpose of IV therapy.

4. Apply a tourniquet a few inches above the intended cannulation site to engorge the vein and make it more visible.

5. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic solution and allow it to dry.

6. Put on a mask, if required, to maintain a sterile environment.

7. Hold the patient’s limb firmly and anchor the vein with your non-dominant hand to stabilize it.

8. With your dominant hand, insert the cannula into the vein at a 15 to 30-degree angle with the bevel facing upward.
Advance the cannula gently while maintaining a slow, steady motion.

9. Once blood is visible in the flashback chamber, lower the cannula’s angle to almost parallel with the skin surface
and advance it an additional 2-3 mm. This helps ensure the cannula is fully within the vein.

10. Release the tourniquet and apply pressure on the catheter hub while withdrawing the cannula needle.

11. Connect the extension set or tubing to the catheter hub and secure it with a sterile dressing and transparent adhesive

12. Flush the cannula with saline solution to ensure patency.

13. Connect the IV fluids or medication to the extension set and regulate the flow rate as per the physician’s orders.

Potential Complications

While IV cannulation is generally safe, complications may occur. These include:

  • Infiltration: Leakage of IV fluids or medication into the surrounding tissues.
  • Phlebitis: Inflammation of the vein.
  • Infection: Introduction of infection into the bloodstream.
  • Hematoma: Collection of blood at the puncture site.
  • Air embolism: Introduction of air into the circulatory system.


Performing IV cannulation is an essential skill for nurses. By following the proper procedure, maintaining sterility,
and being vigilant about potential complications, nurses can ensure successful IV cannulation and improve patient
outcomes. Remember to practice and seek guidance from experienced professionals to enhance your skills in IV cannulation.
With proper training and experience, nurses can master this procedure and provide safe and effective care to their patients.

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